Geek Culture's Reviews
Taking the good and the bad, it is still quite a remarkable feat to transition a familiar gameplay formula into the realm of VR, and those moments of feeling like a true assassin make it worthwhile to give Assassin’s Creed Nexus a go. Try to stay hidden as much as possible to avoid those pesky combat encounters, and what you’ll find is virtual reality gaming at its finest, sending you to another universe just like the Animus.
The best compliment for this free DLC is that it comes across as a work of love, put together for a distinct purpose and smashes that target beyond all expectations. Even against the growing scale and scope of AAA games, this smaller slice stands tall and mighty as an essential piece of the puzzle, giving fans more to enjoy and love. For the low price of nothing, it represents a return of immense value, as well as a therapeutic journey that all would enjoy.
As far as we are concerned, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is more than a serviceable open-world action-adventure experience, made better for fans who cannot get enough of James Cameron’s masterful sci-fi franchise. That said, for an adventure on a distant moon, it continually hints at a potential to do things differently and with a dose of freshness, but retreats into well-trodden territory to bring us crashing back to Earth. There is always going to be a fascination with the Na’vi, but you just might find yourself backing the RDA this time around.
At the end of the day, Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name feels like a bonus adventure that would whet the appetites of fans even more for Infinite Wealth, designed specially to fill in the Kazuma Kiryu gap. Learning more about the popular character and catching up with him is always a good thing, but other than the combat, everything else feels a little stale and too familiar. There is still a decent amount of entertainment to be found in both The Castle and Sotenbori, just don’t expect the same level of polish that comes in the mainline games.
For what it’s worth, RoboCop: Rogue City takes no prisoners when it comes to translating the old action movies onto modern gaming platforms, matching the violence with the kind of attention to detail that makes us believe in the existence of this crime-riddled future Detroit. Being RoboCop is a fantasy that comes to life in all the best ways, delicately balancing the combat-heavy sequences with an interesting levity that comes from more routine police work. While it may lack the cutting edge when it comes to visuals and technical polish, this is still a machine that will get the job done, and that is the perfect encapsulation of RoboCop as a whole.
Like an MMA veteran who has taken his or her fair share of beatings over the years, UFC 5 has learned much from its history and comes out swinging for this new entry. Its visuals and presentation are unmatched, and the underlying systems all contribute to a captivating time in the octagon. Career Mode is an excellent adventure that could still do with improvements, while the potential of its online variant points towards even more exciting times ahead. Even in a market where there is a dearth of competition, this is one true champion worth its weight in gold that can take down any opposition with ease.
The 20-odd hours we spent in Alan Wake 2 left us in a strange place. While its graphical and audio prowess are clear to see, the gameplay, and more crucially, the story, are going to have their merits hotly debated and discussed, and that’s not even including the technical shortcomings. For what it’s worth, we enjoyed this haunted journey through both darkness and light, but for hardcore fans and even newcomers, this sequel might not be an instant classic right away.
Although 3D adventures like Super Mario Odyssey will continue to be the flagbearer for the franchise, an experience like Super Mario Bros. Wonder is nonetheless gratefully welcome. It is lively and colourful, the animations are pristine and a wonder to watch, and the innovation on display showcases the unwavering and astounding ability of Nintendo to think outside of the box. The 2D platformer still matters, and it has a new champion that players must not miss.
With great power comes great responsibility, and it’s nigh impossible to argue that Insomniac Games has come up short in any area when it comes to Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. A bigger world with tons of absorbing things to do, two distinct heroes that deliver with aplomb in storytelling, gameplay, and 60+ amazing suits, as well as villains that are nuanced with unparalleled menace, this tour de force of a game is what fans would only dare to hope for in their wildest dreams. Yet, here it is in the flesh, what a time to be a fan.
As a whole, Total War: Pharaoh is more than a capable entry into a storied franchise, with the grand strategy elements much more intriguing than before. While it fails to match up in bloody battles when compared to Warhammer or Three Kingdoms, everything else maintains that level of quality that fans know and love. Just like entering a new age, the game is still in its nascent days, and it has plenty of room to capitalise on its potential, we can only hope that’s the case in the coming days.
Ultimately, Assassin’s Creed Mirage is a game that comes with the question of balance. By shining the spotlight on stealth, the game should deservedly get plaudits for the foundational refinements made to the formula. But at the same time, removing much of the bloat also means closer scrutiny of everything that’s left. Depending on your preference, this could be the soft reboot of the established recipe that many have yearned for or a step backwards, albeit one that comes with many quality-of-life tweaks. But, it represents a choice, and it is one that we are glad that Ubisoft Bordeaux has taken in giving players the flexibility to enjoy the franchise in its modern guise through a lens of the past.
Despite the rebranding, EA Sports FC 24 is a familiar product for good and for worse. The technological improvements continue to push the experience of mimicking the Beautiful Game in the right direction; having more leagues is always great, and the additional support for the women’s game is commendable. There remains niggling issues, as well as the sense that things are reaching a plateau, but for players looking for their football fix, there really isn’t any worthy substitute out there right now, even if this newcomer feels more like a Europa League contender instead of a Champions League heavyweight.
Overall, Sea of Stars is a robust indie RPG that’s both nostalgic and fresh. Sabotage Studio’s dedication to gorgeous art and engaging gameplay mechanics coalesces into a game that, despite a few flaws, shines brightly amidst the gaming landscape. Seasoned RPG enthusiasts and casual players alike will be able to enjoy its thrilling adventure and inviting world.
Ultimately, Immortals of Aveum stands tall in the first-person shooter genre, replacing guns and bullets with magical mayhem. The combat is engrossing and intense, the puzzles and platforming provide plenty of reasons to enjoy the details, and its full focus on a single-player experience pays dividends with a solid campaign that bodes well for building something even bigger. True to its name, perhaps this is one game that will definitely live long in the memory.
10 years in the making, Starfield is shaping up to be a bright glow in a sea of stars. More than just Skyrim in space, it offers some genuine enjoyment in the face of both familiar and novel elements, namely with exploration and player choice. Bethesda’s latest isn’t flawless, and that’s perfectly fine (some may even find its faults charming), because it has a little something for everyone. Free-roaming fun? Check. The thrills of battle? Double check. Customisation? Triple check – the list goes on.
A grizzled veteran will find much to love in Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon, and with FromSoftware continuing to refine its approach of hardcore sensibilities with a degree of accessibility, so will newcomers to this fabled franchise. The action comes fast and heavy; there is immense depth and enjoyment to be had in assembling ACs, and with a story that takes plenty of twists and turns leading to any of the three endings, it has been an immense pleasure to see things to the end, and return for more before the dust even settles.
It is clear to see that Blasphemous 2 is an excellent sequel which addresses many of the issues that plagued the debut game. The combat retains its tactical and methodical nature but amps it up with improved mechanics and the breadth of customisation available to players. Similarly, exploration is even more enjoyable this time around, with environmental puzzles doing their part. Combine all of that with the stunning pixel art visuals, and you have a great time ahead of you, even if the storytelling can be a tad ostentatious.
Even if you end up playing solo, the many ways in which Moving Out 2 has improved the original formula and amped up the fun factor will undoubtedly push players to find co-op partners to partake in the chaos. A healthy variety of creative levels, level elements, and charming character personalities all contribute to a party waiting to happen, and that’s saying plenty when it comes to the thankless task of moving furniture.
At the end of the day, Atlas Fallen is certainly a worthwhile open-world action RPG to consider for your next adventure. Its world and creatures are mostly a delight, and the co-op potential is there for friends to have a great time. Just don’t look closely at either the story or the visuals, and you will have a good time.
It is a testament to the developers and writers that Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical remains an accessible adventure, even for those not particularly into musicals or video games in general. The immense effort put into the world, the art, music, and storytelling is clear to see, and while there is room to venture into a more involved discourse about mental health and the human condition, this is an excellent start of an imaginative and unconventional concept, one well deserving of an encore and a standing ovation.